Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

20.21 11 Sep 2019


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The Trump administration has announced plans to ban most flavoured e-cigarettes.

It comes amid concerns over the number of young people using the devices - with stats suggesting more than a quarter of high school students use e-cigarettes.

Flavours such as fruit, menthol and mint are cited as being particularly popular.

The US Food & Drug Administration says it's now moving to clear the market of 'unauthorised, non-tobacco-flavoured' e-cigarette products.

The ban, details of which are still being finalised, would come into effect 30 days after the final plan is released.

After it's implemented, flavoured products would only be allowed back on the market once they've received specific FDA approval.

US health and human services secretary Alex Azar said: "We intend to clear the market of flavoured e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities

“We will not stand idly by as these products become an on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of youth."

Speaking in the White House earlier today, Donald Trump said: "Lot of people think vaping is wonderful, it's great... [but] it's really not wonderful.

"We have to find out the extent of the problems... it's so new, but we're going to find out."

Earlier this year, lawmakers in the US city of San Francisco voted to ban the sale of e-cigarettes.

It will apply to any products that have not received approval from federal regulators - but no such approvals have yet been granted.

Earlier this year the FDA set an August 2021 deadline for companies to submit their flavoured products for evaluation.

As a result, the administration says any products on the market in the US at the moment "are not being legally marketed and are subject to government action".

Opponents of e-cigarette bans suggest such restrictions also hurt adults trying to quit smoking traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes.

Today's announcement comes in the wake of a series of reported respiratory illnesses and deaths in the US potentially linked to the use of vaping products.

Officials have reported over 450 possible cases of lung illness across dozens of states, as well as five deaths.

Authorities say no specific cause has yet been identified "but all reported cases have a history of using e-cigarette products".

Main image: US President Donald Trump, right center, flanked by acting FDA Commissioner Norman Sharpless, left, first lady Melania Trump, and US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar. Picture by: Ron Sachs/DPA/PA Images

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